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Home // Research grants // Our UK mammal projects // Protecting badgers in Cornwall from the cull

Protecting badgers in Cornwall from the cull

The problem

Badgers are not currently threatened here in the UK. Sadly however, government-sponsored culling risks put these wonderful animals under threat of local extinction in many areas where they once thrived. These culls, which are supposed to control bovine tuberculosis (TB), operate over entire counties.

And they plan more. Therefore, if this rate of widespread removal of Britain’s largest remaining carnivore continues, it won’t only be badgers that suffer. Sadly, taking out a critical species from the food chain will create cascading ecological impacts.

protecting badgers in Cornwall image by Seth Jackson PTES Uk mammal conservation
Image by Seth Jackson

The solution

A key justification for culling badgers is the lack of evidence on alternative solutions on how to deal with bTB. Even though evidence has already proven that culling badger does not eradicate bTB in cows, the government still justifies the cull by saying there is no alternative.

So, PTES is giving funds to Rosie Woodroffe and her team at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) who are investigating how effective badger vaccination can be as a sustainable, humane, cost-efficient alternative to culling.

protecting badgers in Cornwall image by Seth Jackson PTES Uk mammal conservation
Image by Seth Jackson

Rosie works with farmers, conservationists, and community members in West Cornwall, to measure bTB in badgers and cattle, as the badger vaccination rolls out. So, we’re hoping that with our funds, Rosie and her team can prove that a humane vaccination is a sensible alternative to widespread eradication of an iconic species that plays a central role in the ecosystem.

This project is only possible thanks to our generous donors. Can you help by donating today? 

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